Title: Oral History Interview with Charles M. Jones, July 21, 1990. Interview A-0335.
Interviewer: Egerton, John
Interviewee: Jones, Charles M.
Subjects: North Carolina--Politics and government Chapel Hill (N.C.)--Race relations Presbyterian Church--North Carolina Graham, Frank Porter, 1886-
Abstract: Charles Jones led the First Presbyterian Church in Chapel Hill during the late 1940s. In this interview, he briefly describes his education and how he entered the ministry. He spends most of the time discussing the controversies that occurred during his tenure at the church. The regional presbytery disapproved of his decision to allow African American Presbyterians to attend the church and to provide shelter to Freedom Riders after they left Durham, North Carolina. Jones also went against church rules by not having his members read the Article of Faith during service. He describes how the presbytery tried to force him to move to another church, pledge support for the Article of Faith, and segregate the church. Some local whites, including students and faculty at the University of North Carolina, supported Jones throughout this process. Nevertheless, he was eventually expelled from the Presbyterian Church for his views on race and faith. The interview closes with his opinions on the inevitable failure of the "separate but equal" doctrine and whether John Egerton, the interviewer, was correct in seeing the period between 1945 and 1950 as a missed opportunity for improvement in race relations.